The side effects of alcohol are different for each person and can include short-term symptoms as well as long-term health problems. The physical side effects of alcohol may be reversible if a person stops drinking, but some side effects may be permanent. Alcohol can be addictive, and when abused can result in heart and liver disease, increase complications in existing health problems, and death.
According to the Mayo Clinic, alcohol used in moderation may have some beneficial effects such as lowering the risk of heart disease, but consuming too much alcohol can result in harm to the body directly from drinking or as a result of unintended accidents.
Alcohol is consumed in liquid form on its own or mixed into drinks for recreation, socializing, and as a type of self-treatment for relaxation and pain control.
According to the National Institutes of Health, mental health side effects of alcohol include depression, memory loss, and insomnia.
Short term physical side effects of drinking alcohol depend on the how much and how quickly it is consumed and include dizziness, vomiting, and unconsciousness when consumed in large amounts.
According to the Mayo Clinic, long term side effects and complications of alcohol consumption may include liver disease, heart disease, diabetes and depression.
Women who drink while they are pregnant can cause fetal alcohol syndrome in their babies, which is an array of mental and physical problems and disorders.
When alcohol consumption is faster than the body can physically process it, side effects such as vomiting, and problems walking and talking may occur, and unconsciousness from alcohol poisoning may occur if alcohol is consumed in extreme quantities.